Saturday, July 12, 2008
the last leg of this business trip is to london, which is a city i know well and absolutely love. my impressions of all cities change each trip and i've been coming often to london for the past 18 years, but i remember my first impression was formed when i spent a week in mumbai/bombay after my first trip – that london is the great mother/father of cities and New York and Mumbai are the half-siblings of travel/conquest/trade – each raised in a different time. and even though the siblings grew up and developed on different continents and different times, one can see the seeds of utopian urbanism in the parent. i see this when i visit all the post colonial cities including sydney and even hong kong – i actually feel like alice through the rabbit hole traveling to alternate realities of the same place or perhaps the cities are morphing through time and just the people are concurrent to my age...i'll devote a separate entry to my musings on utopian urbanism as i see them applied in various cities.
so needless to say, when i'm here, i never have a dearth of things to do and people to see. this trip is no exception.
day 1: dan, my friend and former coworker from my london days as creative director at reuters came in to meet me at the glamorous metropolitan hotel [i got a good rate by london standards from tablet hotels, check out the site here. i booked my rome (the pulitzer hotel which i highly recommend) hotel via them as well. it's a great resource for design savvy travelers like me as an ugly room/hotel can really depress the aesthetically sensitive]. we had lunch at a little pub in mayfair near the hotel that specializes in polish and mexican food [i did not make that up]. we both had the wild boar sausage with mushroom sauce and mash – amazingly deliscious. we then went to the london design museum which always impresses. the had a show on industrial design on one floor, a photography exhibition and a retrospective of richard rogers architects work. the design museum of london is something that the cooper hewitt in NYC needs to study more. i truly feel like the collections and shows are curated by design professionals whereas the cooper hewitt [the american museum of design, part of the smithsonian in in nyc] seems guided by corporate sponsors and populist trends with little research on the true innovators in particular genres. that said, the london design museum could be a bit more international, for example, why are my designs not in the collection and not in the shop? [dear reader, please feel free to email them yourselves and ask them for an answer, their website is here]. moreover, why am i not in the cooper hewitt? [again dear reader, feel free to research and email/contact their curators from their website here. i am an american designer and the cooper hewitt is the national design museum!] THEN we had dinner with mia and kevin who have a lovely toddler named george who was born in my 2 year absence from london. he is adorable. i left them to meet darren at the british museum which is open late on fridays now...so overall...lot's of culture in one day.
day 2: a bit of window shopping and visited selfridges to check out nooka there as well as their new concept store within the store, the wonder room. selfridges is a great store and really merchandises well. they are also early adopters of nooka, so check em out there when you're in the UK. at the moment, nooka is on the 4th floor in the men's department but will soon migrate to the wonder room. i'll update the blog when that happens. i also went to primark, which is the uk version of h&m but even less expensive – it was a ZOO, so i'll go back monday morning to really check out the goods [i can't shop in a crowded shop]. talking of zoos, i met darren at the london zoo where he is a fellow and we had v.i.p. treatment – i got to pet a lemur named dana who was so sweet and affectionate – an incredibly memorable experience. their butterfly exhibition is also amazing with the insects bred on-premises and they are quite tame. not as big as the bronx zoo, but well worth a visit.
i think that's enough for one blog entry. no?